Filling the hole in the national accounts
Feb 24, 2009
Bishop Hill in Economics

OK, so we need some money and fast. If you have a look around you, you can see how people deal with this kind of problem in day to day life - they sell assets - shares get flogged, the kids' old toys go on Ebay, the four-by-four gets dumped in favour of something smaller.

The government needs to do the same kind of thing too. There's a lot to flog off, but is it enough to fill the hole? Dunno, because we don't know how big the hole is, but let's see what we think we can get for a firesale of UK assets. Here's a start (valuations per my estimates or per the ASI):

I'm still working on filling in the gaps, but that's £297bn so far. Hospitals and Universities and HE colleges must add quite a lot to that though. I have no idea how to value them though. Anyone got any ideas? School numbers are roughly correct. The cost per school is 50% of the cost of a new-build, which may be a bit on the generous side, given that we know most of the recent capital spending by government is just "invested" up the nearest wall. What's clear from this is that in the wider scheme of things it's only by selling off the education and health sectors that we can hope to plug the gap, which was over £1trillion last time I heard.

Well go on then, get to it.


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